Thomas Earnshaw is a watch make owned by Dartmouth Brands, who also own the likes of Avi-8, Spinnaker, Ballast, and now Duxot to name a few. Each brand focuses on a different style / category; Thomas Earnshaw looking after their smart and dress range.
Whilst they’ve mainly been focusing on the more affordable market, with cheaper movements; they’re starting to foray into the slightly higher quality bracket by releasing Swiss Made timepieces with impressive movements. These watches do come at a cost though, often at a similar price to alternative brands such as Tissot or Hamilton, who have solid reputations.
So, is the Beagle their way of muscling in with the bigger boys? Does it hold up to its rather eye-watering RRP of £940? Let’s check it out.
- Dimensions: 42mm diameter x 12mm height x 51.2mm lug to lug
- Weight: 73g
- Water resistance rating: 5ATM / 50m
- Movement: Sellita SW200-1
- Accuracy: sec/day
- Lug width: 22mm
- Warranty: 2 years
- Price: RRP £940 / use code WIAA30 for 30% off: £658 / ~$795
- Buy here: https://www.thomas-earnshaw.com/collections/swiss-made-automatic/products/es-0035-02
The case itself is fully polished, with a reasonable size of 42mm in diameter. The 12mm height feels slender enough, as that is to the tip of the domed crystal. Just be careful whilst wearing the watch as the finish will be a scratch magnet.
The overall fit and finish is certainly a step above other Thomas Earnshaw models in the cheaper bracket, so I’m pleased to see some distinction and justification in the higher price range.
The push-pull crown has the sound E logo accurately engraved on the end and is easy to use, thanks to the reasonable size and effective grip. Gentle crown guards are positioned either side of the crown.
Along the side of the case is an Invicta-style engraving of “Earnshaw”. It’s certainly not quite as gaudy, and in fact, it’s done neatly and fits in well.
The caseback’s primary goal is to show off the movement, so it’s mainly the exhibition window. There are some details around the outer edge, and the Thomas Earnshaw logo is printed on the underside of the glass. It obscures the movement a little, which is completely stock with nothing customised at all. Thankfully, as it’s a Sellita, it’s very nicely finished, albeit a little plain.
I really like the design of the dial. It’s unique, classy, and is interesting enough whilst maintaining elegance. The pearlage on the base provides a lovely array of light reflections, and the steel vibe works tremendously well.
The hour markers are all on a higher level, like a bagel (or a doughnut if you’re less worried about your weight) with a quarter cut out. It provides great depth and is a key design feature.
Another eye-catching design feature is the top segment containing the open heart. Applied like the hour marker channel, it’s deep and has very neatly engraved vertical lines. The balance wheel of the movement itself seems to be ever so slightly misaligned with the porthole in the dial which is a shame. I think the two screws are purely for presentational purposes but appear to be well constructed.
The logo is located in the centre of the bottom half on a cute little plaque which works well. Again, a steel appearance to it.
The hands are beautifully done – under closer inspection they don’t look to be lacquered blue, but rather the more impressively looking chemically or even thermally blued. The hour and minute hands are a beautifully elegant Breguet style (named so as Breguet designed that style of hand in 1783), whilst the stick seconds hand has an exquisite double E logo as the counterweight.
I’m a little disappointed to discover a couple of flecks of dust on the dial, which is a shame for a watch with an RRP of this value.
The strap is reasonable. It’s enough to get by, but nothing special; nor suitable for a watch costing nearly a thousand pounds. I think it’s the same strap as all other Thomas Earnshaws’ – even the cheapest ones – I would have expected an upgraded here.
The dull matte is suitable and I rather like the aesthetics it provides; it compliments the overall style of the watch well. It’s fairly supple too and comfortable on, but it’s not that thick and doesn’t feel luxurious enough for the price tag.
I do like the buckle that comes with all of their offerings – it’s a clever usage of the “E”, however, it does mean that the centre of the strap wears out quicker as there’s greater pressure where the centre serif of the E meets the strap itself.
The Sellita SW200-1 is the best thing about the Thomas Earnshaw Beagle. The movement doesn’t usually have an open heart, so I’m wondering if this has been modified. It is highly regarded, nicely finished and should last a good amount of time too. The rotor hasn’t had any sort of customisation, but there is the logo printed on the underside of the exhibition window to make things interesting.
Specs include 28.8k bph, 38-hour power reserve, 26 jewels, hacking seconds hand, and hand and automatic winding.
I’m going to be brutally honest here, and say for the RRP – don’t even think about it. Don’t consider it with my 30% code WIAA30 either; as £658 is still too wild.
Thomas Earnshaw is punching well above their weight here. Their strengths lie in the affordable bracket, costing around £100-£300 where they can make use of cheaper skeleton movements.
Whilst I appreciate the effort that’s been put into it – at the end of the day, it’s still Swiss Made with a well regarded Sellita movement – the execution isn’t quite there to justify the price. My honest opinion is that I wouldn’t spend more than £400 on this watch. So, if you can find one for that cheap, give it a try. Otherwise, just go for a similar offering from a brand with more heritage, such as the Tissot Tradition Open Heart.
6 April, 2020 at 5:06 pm
I appreciate the honesty of the evaluation. My impressions were similar as I read through and took in the photos. Very nicely done, but still a push even with the significant WIAA discount. Well written!